23 Men And Women Share The Surprising Life Lessons They Learned From Their Last Relationship


1. It’s Not Two Halves Making A Whole

A lot. I learned that a good relationship comes from open honest communication. If from the beginning of your relationship you openly voice your feelings, wants, concerns, etc. It can be just a conversation. My last relationship showed me what secrets do. It has also taught me my happiness comes from within. Your SO should be the same, their happiness should come from within as well. Do not be each other’s worlds but enjoy this world together as individuals. A relationship is not 2 halves coming together to be a whole. It is two whole people moving forward together trying to enjoy life and accomplish their individual hopes and dreams. Love is respecting and caring for someone by being supportive and valuing your relationship as something worth all the time and energy put into it.


2. Don’t Be Afraid To Be Alone

That there are worse things than being alone.


3. Timing Is Everything

“If you have chemistry you only need one other thing – timing, but timing’s a bitch.” – Robin Scherbatsky


4. Beware The Rebound

Be careful the first time you date if you have gotten out of a long term relationship. Your bullshit detector can be a little rusty if you are still dealing with the grief.


5. Competitive Relationships Are Toxic

In my last relationship I never felt like I’d got it right, I was constantly being told in which ways I was failing. There was always an opinion on what I wore, where I went, how I spoke, assumptions about my friends where I couldn’t even defend somebody I’d grown up with because “I know what guys like that are like”. I was resented for passing exams, having an extroverted family, for basically not being a robot.

What I learned was that for a relationship to be good we have to agree that we’re not in competition with each other, we are on the same team. It just makes life easier, you get breathing space to be wrong every once in a while and when you do, it’s easy and say “sorry I messed up” when you don’t feel like that person is waiting to rip you to shreds over it. I feel like I have that in my current relationship.

Last month we were building IKEA furniture and I misread a diagram and for once I felt like I could just own up. We laughed it off, agreed we probably needed to take a break and grab coffee but god it felt good to be able to laugh about it instead of some eye rolling “this is typical you” speech.


6. Eternally True

You cant help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves.


7. The Cute, Easy Stuff Is Secondary

That it doesn’t matter how much cute stuff and how much love they express verbally, even physically; if they manipulate you and make you feel bad about your very existence, it is time to let them go. Right away. ‘Cause if you don’t, and let them get into your skin even more, they will fuck you up in every way possible.


8. Indifference Is The Opposite Of Love

The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference.

Some people don’t want to be with you but don’t know how to break up either. Even if you build them bridges.

If you think a breakup is the worst thing when entering a relationship you are wrong.

Not knowing about something, especially over a long time, can be a lot worse than a sharp, hard truth.

Some relationships are different from anything you saw in novels, movies or personal stories from others.


9. Don’t Force Yourself To Be Someone You Aren’t

An open relationship is not for me. I don’t like to share, and that’s okay.


10. Don’t Crush Them With Insecurities

Don’t pile your issues onto them. They can be a sounding board, but not the avenue to shove all your stress, insecurities, and anxieties into. You’ll just end up losing them because they can’t take it anymore.

Also, she taught me to level my measuring spoons. That has come in handy.


11. Heed The Red Flags

When a girlfriend says something like “I can’t be around you right now, you’re being too positive,” it’s probably time to leave.


12. Getting Your Phone Blow Up Is Exhausting

That HIS insecurities were not my responsibility. You can support and encourage a person, but at the end of the day if they can’t handle you having a girls night out without blowing up your phone every 30 minutes, that’s some bullshit no one is worth going through.


13. Trust Your Gut

People lie more than you think, so trust your gut more than what they say. Being alone is better than being with a loser. People leave and you have to be okay with that, because you have yourself and that’s all you need.


14. Ending It Can Be Healthy

Sometimes ending a relationship is the healthiest option for both of you.

Two people who are both going through stress and depression don’t necessarily make a good relationship, you may just end up enabling each others’ negative behaviors.


15. You Need Other Friends

That it’s okay if your partner is your best friend; but not, if he/she is your only friend. Also, don’t give yourself up for your partner.


16. Don’t Rush In

To take it slowly. The guy who seems to be the answer to your prayers may just be a really good actor.


17. Be Aware Of Agendas

Everybody has an agenda and you either fit or you don’t.


18. Some Good Guidelines

I’m gonna just go through what I’ve learned from several relationships that have ended:

  • If anything bothers you it needs to be brought up before it broods, i understand the difficulty if you and it can make you nervous to confront someone, but it wont get easier without doing it, if you cant work through issues together it wont work
  • Sometimes, especially if you’ve been out of a relationship for an extended period of time, certain things that would normally raise red flags will not seem like an issue when you are trying to get into a new relationship
  • LDR’s are harder than they sound
  • It isn’t fair to be mad about something if you haven’t told your partner what it is, or why you are mad about it
  • Don’t go to bed mad/make sure when you argue to keep in mind your actual feelings for them
  • Whatever the other person does, do not do something with the sole intent of pissing them off/making them jealous/etc
  • The quality of someone’s relationship with their family can (not always, sometimes other family members are shit) be a good sign as to how your relationship may go, as closer families standardly have more open communication giving them some experience of being in a healthy relationship or something
  • Assume ignorance, not malice
  • Some things that are small and stupid to you will not be to them, and vice versa


19. Amen

Just because the dick is good, doesn’t mean the man is good.


20. There’s More Than One Kind Of Abuse

A relationship can be abusive and toxic without it being physically so.


21. There Are No Angels

Even the most honest appearing people are capable of lying and stabbing you in the back. Yeah, even that one person you’re 100% sure could never do something to hurt you. We’re all human and we’re all capable of bad things.


22. Have Empathy

We were only together a few months; the “official” thing was a bit of a sticking point. I was initially seeing a few woman at the same time, narrowed it to two, and then eventually one, not quite, but almost by default. She was much more into me than visa versa. We shared a lot of values, so I was OK with getting to know her over time and let a romance grow. She was much more eager to be in a relationship. I was her first “boyfriend”, but she had at least one fling before hand. This was my severalth.

Any who, we see each other a couple times a week. I was in Grad School, so I was legitimately busy. There was this hellish two week period where we did not see each other. At the end of it, she had a family picnic, and I was able to squeeze in to see her. She had brought Mr. Fling along with her. She had been friends with him a long time, and had bean up front about that. Up until that moment, I never felt a tinge of jealousy. Nothing had happened between them, but she ended up breaking up with me that night.

Over the course of a few weeks, we talked about what went wrong. She felt I did not pay enough attention to her, call her often enough, return her cutesy texts, etc. I told her I felt smothered by all the attention. It was amicable. We know each other through mutual friends, and are still reasonably close.

But, here is the real lesson. I’ve been texting a girl I recently met, trying to call her every so often. She takes forever to respond, and never returns calls on her own. She is getting her doctorate, so is legitimately busy… And its driving me mad!

The sense of empathy I now feel for my ex! I really did like her, and thought about her daily. I was such a space cadet communicating that. I am in the process of learning from that experience that relationships require time for each other and outreach to develop a lasting sense of warmth.


23. Don’t Be Lazy

That when it gets tough or the chemistry fizzles away, actually try to fix it rather than leave her.